4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

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4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby TallMax » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:30 pm UTC

And this is why I hate the internet =/




NEWARK, N.J. -- A former grocery clerk must serve six months in federal prison for making bogus Internet postings warning of terrorist attacks against NFL stadiums, a judge ruled Thursday.

Jake Brahm must also serve six months under house arrest following his prison term and repay $26,750 incurred in extra security costs at two of the stadiums.

U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares said Brahm, 22, conducted a "sick" hoax.

"People have to know they can't go around posting these things on the Internet," Linares said, adding that it scares the public and can expose weaknesses in security responses.

Brahm, of Wauwatosa, Wis., entered a guilty plea in February and faced a prison term of six to 12 months under federal sentencing guidelines. His lawyer had sought probation.

Brahm said his postings were not meant to be taken seriously and that he placed them on 4chan.org, a Web site he described as "outrageous."

"The story I wrote was not intended to be malicious and I didn't intend to deceive anyone," Brahm told the judge, at times stumbling during a seven-minute statement.

Prosecutor L. Judson Welle, however, said Brahm intended "to create a stir," reposting the same message over 40 times during a four-week period in fall 2006.

Brahm's posting, repeated from September to Oct. 18, 2006, said so-called dirty bombs would be detonated at seven stadiums having games on Oct. 22, 2006 in Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland, Cleveland and New York City. He admitted that the reference to New York City was intended to indicate Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The posting added that the stadium explosions would be praised by Osama bin Laden as "America's Hiroshima" and spark global conflicts.

When another Web site visitor reposted the message on more mainstream sites and the news media learned of the ensuing investigation and emergency response, Welle said Brahm bragged in a posting, "This is the most epic win ever."

Welle called much of 4chan's content "inane," saying it ranged from running jokes to images of kittens, pornography and violence.

Brahm's lawyer, Walter A. Lesnevich, urged leniency for an "unsophisticated kid" who was immersed in the Web site's culture.

"There's this odd community of people who go on this Web site. He's the poster boy of what can go wrong," Lesnevich told the judge.

Brahm said he cooperated immediately when approached by police at the grocery store where he worked. "I tried my best to undo the harm I caused," he said.

A federal prosecutor agreed, but argued that Brahm was thrilled when police arrived, tossing his clipboard to the ground, shouting, "Yes!" and raising his arms in celebration.

Brahm pleaded guilty to willfully conveying false information that the stadiums would be attacked by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction and "radiological dispersal devices."

He must repay $18,000 to the Cleveland Browns and $8,750 to the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, which operates Giants Stadium. Welle said other stadiums had extra costs because of the hoax but were unable to complete their paperwork in time for the sentencing.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Kaiyas » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:22 pm UTC

They took 4chan seriously. End of story.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Of Negligible Mass » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:59 pm UTC

Don't mess with football...
Don't like it?

... Neither did I

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Dobblesworth » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

If they went this far for a lunatic on 4chan, then why don't they round up every new age prophet claiming the world will end in 2 weeks? Seriously, if terrorists were going to strike a few stadia, would they really want it to all come to nothing by warning the populace of the event explicitly?
They should ideally track all the posting logs of that initial message, and determine who posted the occurrence of it that attracted the most attention. It's not the fault of a 4chan guy, it's the fault of whomsoever took him seriously/considered it an even greater prank to circulate it across the intertubes.

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby TallMax » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

Provoking terrorist threat warnings causes money, and pisses a ton of people off. While I can see that people shouldn't have taken him seriously, alternately people like this guy should realize provoking a response isn't the smartest (or coolest) thing to do.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

TallMax wrote:can expose weaknesses in security responses

I usually consider finding out where your weaknesses are to be a good thing...but that's just me.

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby e946 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:00 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
TallMax wrote:can expose weaknesses in security responses

I usually consider finding out where your weaknesses are to be a good thing...but that's just me.


I was just about to comment on that very phrase... all other bad things about this story aside, it bothers me that they include "exposing security weaknesses" along with the other things he did. Why should he be blamed for something that's really their fault?

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

I... well... alright, godwin in a 4chan thread doesn't seem too far out of place.

Why should he be blamed for something that's really their fault?


EVEN SOME JEWS VOTED FOR THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEIR ANTI-SEMITIC VIEWS WERE NOT HIDDEN.

On the other hand, I agree with you.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby TallMax » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:43 pm UTC

I should note that the news source I got for this is new, just the court system took awhile to finally get down to the sentencing which is why it occurred in 2006
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Green9090 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood.
Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Ondore » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:15 pm UTC

Of Negligible Mass wrote:Don't mess with football...


This.

Also, I think this planted the idea that eventually became /r9k/. I'm sure a mute/block would be far preferred to paying $25k and getting six months in federal PMITA* prison.

* For more information on PMITA prison, please refer to Office Space (1998).

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:20 pm UTC

fail. #xkcd-signal gave the idea for /r9k/. lurk moar.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby MikeBabaguh » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:08 pm UTC

Apparently I am in the minority here for thinking this kid got what he deserved?

4chan or not, internet culture or not, something like that is going to find it's way into normal society and it's very illegal there.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby TallMax » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

The problem with this is that it's dumb people who buy into the dregs of the internet until it becomes their personality. For each year that I was in high school 4chan type humor would become more prevalent in the "dweeb" community (not to be confused with geeks [i.e. D&D, computer gamers] and nerds [math/science wizards]) as well as they'd act out in completely stupid ways. Things like pulling a fire alarm or shit like that in the senior year then thinking it funny. This is just one person who never grew up and got stuck in that mindset.
Last edited by TallMax on Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Roland Lockheart » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:37 pm UTC

Yet another reason why 4chan is a bad idea.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby niko7865 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:09 am UTC

TallMax wrote:Provoking terrorist threat warnings causes money, and pisses a ton of people off.


If it causes money, shouldn't we do it more often?
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Felstaff » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:34 am UTC

I'm so glad he's gone to prison! Because then I get to laugh at his expense for the next six months. And laugh heartily I shall.

I dearly hope the judge raised his hands and shouted 'epic fale!' at the sentencing.

Perhaps he can create a meme based on the greatly humorous consequences of dropping soap, once he gets released.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby mazzilliu » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:27 am UTC

More terrible posters need to go to federal prison. Also <obligatory prison rape joke>.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby fjafjan » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:51 am UTC

mazzilliu wrote:More terrible posters need to go to federal prison. Also <obligatory prison rape joke>.

Then they'll see how funny it is to have their tubes clogged?
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:47 am UTC

It's not just longcat that's long...
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Narsil » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:24 pm UTC

I'm really upset that nowhere in the story did the line appear: "Brahm was thrilled when the 4chan Party Van arrived that evening, shouting "Yes!" and throwing his arms up in celebration.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:41 am UTC

Kaiyas wrote:They took 4chan seriously. End of story.

And why in God's name were football security people on 4chan?
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:48 pm UTC

e946 wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:
TallMax wrote:can expose weaknesses in security responses

I usually consider finding out where your weaknesses are to be a good thing...but that's just me.


I was just about to comment on that very phrase... all other bad things about this story aside, it bothers me that they include "exposing security weaknesses" along with the other things he did. Why should he be blamed for something that's really their fault?


What i think they were going for was that by forcing them to show their security response he allowed the real tur-wrists to see it and evaluate it for potential weaknesses, which would help them plan actual attacks on stadii. That's what i think they meant.

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:34 pm UTC

One down, far too many to go.

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Robin S » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:43 pm UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
Kaiyas wrote:They took 4chan seriously. End of story.

And why in God's name were football security people on 4chan?
It says in the OP that the story got spread to other sites where it was taken seriously. If anyone deserves to be punished, it's whoever decided that something from 4chan should be unleashed on the rest of the world. Or rather, that people who weren't aware of the comedic intentions of the original post should be exposed to it.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby eristic » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:53 pm UTC

they took 4chan seriously... that is an epic fail. Whoever failed to do their research on the topic to make sure the lead was sound before spending $25k on security should be fired and sent to prison. idiots.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:15 am UTC

As I recall, it was other channers who notified the authorities. I could be wrong here.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Felstaff » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:31 am UTC

Sounds like quite a few people are on the side of the guy who made the threats... Why? The guy's an idiot and deserves everything that comes to him.

4chan is an illiterate playground; a shallow murky gene pool with no lifeguard. Technically you should not take any threats seriously. But that does not mean that people who frequent that puerile mire are all harmless smiles and retarded sunshine. It only takes one veiled threat to be carried out, then the media will latch upon the fact that 'authorities did nothing' despite being warned of the threat. If I found out that some debased Neanderthal had jokingly threatened to commit a heinous crime at a location I will be at, then I'd call the authorities to get that guy lathered up ready for his first prison shower. Just because he made the threat on a site that caters for those who can't control their own drool would make no difference to me. I don't remember the point where puerility meant being exempt from the law.

Anyway, I laughed at lot harder at his sentence then I did at his livejournal. I have a little more faith in the justice system now that I know morans can be gaoled for being moranic.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Mabus_Zero » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:06 am UTC

It's idiotic abuses of the country's already overburdened legal system like this one that make me want to move to another country. Maybe Canada. But really, anywhere in which anyone wouldn't try to interpret the content of a *chan posting (and fail so horribly at it) without first doing the most advised and intelligent thing:

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:17 pm UTC

Mabus_Zero wrote:It's idiotic abuses of the country's already overburdened legal system like this one that make me want to move to another country. Maybe Canada. But really, anywhere in which anyone wouldn't try to interpret the content of a *chan posting (and fail so horribly at it) without first doing the most advised and intelligent thing:

Lurking Moar.

There's a far cry between posting something as a news report in a reputable newspaper and flooding failchan on a Caturday.

Yeah dude, I'd much rather have the police sitting around reading 4chan all day than doing things like arresting people who make bomb threats.

I swear to god, people are never happy. WAH WHY DO COPS WASTE TIME AND MONEY TICKETING ME FOR SPEEDING WHEN THEY SHOULD BE CATCHING ACTUAL CRIMINALS! WAH WHY ARE THE POLICE CATCHING CRIMINALS WHEN THEY SHOULD BE READING 4CHAN!

Sorry, this kid is a retard and deserves every minute of his sentence. I'd at least feel a little sorry for him if he hadn't taken getting arrested like a joke.

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Mabus_Zero » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:40 pm UTC

A bomb threat. On 4chan. That was four month old copy pasta from elsewhere. The FBI, of all people, offered the sound advice that the threat was nothing more then the antics of an immature idiot cavorting about the backside of the internet.

While I will concede, however, that what happened to the kid was amusing. Reminds me of a concept that occurred to me the other day while trolling a random *chan. Something about famous last words before being disappeared by the FBI, who claims to know all about your 'Anonymous Ways'.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:54 pm UTC

Sure, 4chan seems like the ideal place to put a bomb threat. If no one takes you seriously, you have a far better chance of getting away with it.

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Grave » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:42 am UTC

You know what gives an even better chance of getting away with it? Not posting a threat in the first place.

I mean, yes, the kid is/was an idiot and probably deserves everything he's getting, but... how can something on 4chan, of all places, ever be taken seriously?

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Joeldi » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:29 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:[...About how retarded /b/tards are...]


I think you'd be suprised by how many /b/tards there are posting sensibly maturely in these fora, and just how much fan-crossover there is. The fact that Randall sat next to moot at roflcon says something.

I do think that this guy did not deserve this. All he did was create a fiction, it was the faults of many many others that made this turn out badly. I feel sorry for him, and hope he gets out early, even if he is an arsehole in other aspects.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby 4=5 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:42 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
Mabus_Zero wrote:It's idiotic abuses of the country's already overburdened legal system like this one that make me want to move to another country. Maybe Canada. But really, anywhere in which anyone wouldn't try to interpret the content of a *chan posting (and fail so horribly at it) without first doing the most advised and intelligent thing:

Lurking Moar.

There's a far cry between posting something as a news report in a reputable newspaper and flooding failchan on a Caturday.

Yeah dude, I'd much rather have the police sitting around reading 4chan all day than doing things like arresting people who make bomb threats.

I swear to god, people are never happy. WAH WHY DO COPS WASTE TIME AND MONEY TICKETING ME FOR SPEEDING WHEN THEY SHOULD BE CATCHING ACTUAL CRIMINALS! WAH WHY ARE THE POLICE CATCHING CRIMINALS WHEN THEY SHOULD BE READING 4CHAN!

Sorry, this kid is a retard and deserves every minute of his sentence. I'd at least feel a little sorry for him if he hadn't taken getting arrested like a joke.

huh? are you trying to troll?

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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Adalwolf » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:48 am UTC

I'm glad he is in jail.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:46 am UTC

I think the guy's problem is that he was too wrapped up in the surreal bubble of internet, and forgot that there was, in fact, a world out there. A world where there are people who do fucking stupid things like give bomb threats...and then bomb places. Terrorism in the 1970s showed us that individuals would issue bomb threats in the knowledge that panicking crowds would head in a certain direction--and place their device there. There was a craze of placing non-lethal explosive device in a public place (such as a shopping centre), set it off/issue a bomb threat, thereby causing a panic and rush, and then detonate a larger, more deadly device in the places where civilians were running to; exits, alleyways and so forth. Places which would have been relatively emptier had they not issued the warning in the first place.

Pretty sick, right?

So anyway, moral outrage ensued; not playing by 'the rules' and whatnot. I can see a similar incident coming up in the future where somebody issues a bomb threat in a place where they know it probably should be ignored--for example, I don't know, 4chan's random page--and carry it out.

That Japanese guy who drove a truck into a crowd of shoppers and then stabbed a bunch of people went ahead with his posted threat. Although he posted on a suicide site. Is that...is that irony? Surely it should have been a murdery website, like http://www.iwanttokillabunchofpeople.com. People do not take suicide sites particularly seriously, simply because they are inundated with threats every single hour by losers, wimps, attention seekers ...and only occasionally the tragically serious. Sifting through them is a task too great even for the army of Samaritans. But people, at times, still go through with it. It's a rare enough occurrence in the UK, so it still makes the news; and invariably there is a website involved where the threat took place and was egged on/ignored. The media launches a short-lived half-arsed campaign which basically ends up with the ISP shutting the site down. The furore dies down before the site springs up again in a slightly altered incarnation; such is the fluidity of the internet. (Like male dinosaurs springing up in an all female Dinosaur-Themed Island Amusement Park). So ignoring threats turns out to be rather stupid, when the threat turns out to be true.

Anyway, wildly tangential arguments aside; essentially, there are sick people out there. People sick enough to post something for a joke, and then actually go through with it. Yes, the example in question is wildly overblown (radioactive fall-out? Hmmm) but until the point the authorities intervened, no-one knew who the fuck this guy was. So he turns out to be a fucking nobody; good. His sentence should act as a deterrent for anyone who thinks issuing hoaxes is amusing, as one day, it might not be a hoax that's ignored.

I am aware that there are no less than five loosely-related points here, none of which were particularly explained very well, and had the solid structure of a stream of consciousness. But that doesn't matter, cause the man's a dick, and is in gaol. And is not allowed near the internet. I feel a winner already.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:22 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:I can see a similar incident coming up in the future where somebody issues a bomb threat in a place where they know it probably should be ignored--for example, I don't know, 4chan's random page--and carry it out.


Isn't that kinda useless though? Like if you purposely wanted the warning to be ignored wouldn't it be much better to simply -not warn anyone-.
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Re: 4chan user gets arrested, considers it an epic win

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:18 pm UTC

I suppose issuing bomb threats has gone a little out of vogue nowadays, now that the rules of terr'ism have changed somewhat. But in the good old days when terr'ists were freedom fighters rather than insurgents and buzzwords, they'd issue a bomb warning.

This would serve several purposes:
1.) It's like a murderer leaving a calling card...before the murder. It lets everyone know which group is responsible here, and dagnabbit if they don't want some splinter group claiming credit for their hard work after the carnage has been dealt
2.) Delivering the warning to the media instead of the authorities would ensure plenty o' column inches which is just free advertising for their cause, as no publicity is bad publicity
3.) Terrorists (of yore) did not necessarily believe a higher body count will add any more to their cause than a well-publicised low body count. After all, they want to send a message of their belief than just a mention in the Guinness Book of Records.

'Course, this isn't really the case any more. Seems every group admitting responsibility gets lumped under the al-kydah umbrella. The media exacerbates the opinion that no matter which group it is, it's all for a common cause--a cause that's become generic and clichéd, as we've been subject to so much of it with intense media analysis/scaremongering. Still, it sells papers and keeps the finger off the dial. (Wait...since when did TV remotes actually have dials? "Don't Touch That Dial!" What is this, the 50s?) So yeah, it really doesn't matter if Sword of Revenge gets credit for the latest, trendiest attack, when it really was the Warrior Blades cell responsible; they all get categorized in the same filing cabinet, which is so large, they might as well rename all terrorist groups to alt.binaries.

Besides, the latest terr'is fashion is about using oneself as a weapon--very chic--and the fact that someone would die for their cause has more impact. But this is on the wane, especially as more cowardly tactics (radicalising easily-manipulated retards into blowing up cafés) are having adverse effects on the global terris conspiracy.

So, uh, where was I? Oh yeah - pre-warnings. It gives the warner a sense of power, a sauveur-load of publicity aimed at his or her cause, can potentially make the act garner more attention in the media (if no-one gets killed, there'll be no REMORSELESS COWARDLY ANIMALS headlines screaming at you with sympathy pieces focusing on victims; but there will be pages and pages of analysis as to 'why would [terrorist organisation] want to do this?' The result? The press printing your own organisation's leaflets.

Also, it keeps people fearful. And who controls the fear controls the masses, or some shit. Just look at governments and their red-amber-green public security levels.

Anyway, the hoaxer guy could have been one of these maniacs. It's almost the perfect crime: 'Bomber Left Internet Warning: Ignored By Police' = loss of public confidence in the police, those infidel pig dogs [spit!]
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